Because of the Spanish influence in Filipino cuisine, a lot of the stews that we are familiar with are tomato-based. Afritada, sarciado, menudo, callos, kaldereta… But there is a whole world of stews out there beyond the ubiquitous tomato sauce.
I particularly like stews cooked with wine because the wine gives such deep, deep flavors to a stew. If you’re wondering whether cooking with wine is too expensive for everyday meals, look at it this way. There are wines that don’t cost all that much but are good enough for cooking and drinking (please don’t ask me for brands — scour the shelves in the wine section of the grocery and choose what you like). Some cost less than PhP150.00 per bottle and you only need about a quarter to a third of that to make a stew for four. So, give the can of tomato sauce a rest and try cooking stews with wine for a change. It’s a whole new experience.
So, how do we do this beef short ribs stew with fruity red wine?
First of all, the “fruity” that precedes red wine means this isn’t dry wine. I used a wine that had very distinct fruity notes. You can use some other kind of red wine, the flavor of the cooked stew will be different but not necessarily bad. In fact, your stew might even taste better than mine.
That said, how do we go about cooking this stew?
First, flour and brown the meat. Don’t skip this part because browning the meat gives it more flavor and better texture.
Next, the holy trinity of French cooking — onion, carrot and celery. In equal parts. I added rosemary.
The beef goes back into the pan, the red wine is poured in and they all simmer merrily together until the meat is done. Adding potato wedges is optional.
- 500 g. of beef short ribs, cut between the bones
- 3 tbsps. of flour
- 3 tbsps. of olive oil
- 3 tbsps. of butter
- ¼ c. of diced onion
- ¼ c. of diced carrot
- ¼ c. of diced celery
- a sprig of fresh rosemary (about 1 tsp. if using dried)
- ½ c. (more won’t hurt) of fruity red wine
- 2 to 3 c. of broth, preferably homemade
- potato wedges, optional
- about 1 tbsp. of chopped parsley
- Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper. Toss with the flour.
- Heat the olive oil and butter together. Cook the beef short ribs, in batches if necessary, until browned. Transfer the beef to a plate.
- In the oil, over medium heat, cook the onion, celery, carrot and rosemary until a bit softened.
- Return the beef to the pan. Pour in the wine. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pan. Cook over medium-high heat, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced to about a tablespoonful.
- Pour in about two cups of broth. Season with more salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for two hours or until the beef is tender.
- Check every half hour to see if more broth should be added. Adjust the seasonings too, if needed.
- If you want to add potatoes, add them during the last half hour of cooking.
- Stir in the parsley just before serving.